Archive for April, 2017

Two Book Reviews by students Deidra and Leanna

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

Soldier Mom

Reviewed by Deidra Pushard – Richmond

I read Soldier Mom by Alice Mead and I loved it.  It was about an eleven-year-old girl named Jasmyn and her brother Andrew.  Their mother is in the U.S. army; at the beginning of August 1990 she was called to serve in the Persian Gulf War.  Who was going to take care of Jas and her baby half-brother?  Mom’s boyfriend, Jake, who was also Andrew’s father, would look after them for mother.  Jasmyn was really upset that her mother could just up and leave them.  The day her mother left was really hard on Jas.  Mom tried to stay home, but the army wouldn’t let that happen. When her mother left I cried.  Jas was worried that something bad would happen to Mom while she was at war.  Jake wasn’t very good at planning the schedule for dinner, let alone packing Andrew’s diaper bag for daycare.

I chose this book because I have a lot of friends in the army. The story takes place in Maine and it is a really great book. Some parts get sad and they made me cry. I would definitely recommend this book to others because it is a real eye opener for people that are wanting to join the U.S. Army.  It shows you that you can’t take things for granted. Everything is possible.  I felt connected with the character named Jas, because when my brother went into the army I never knew when I was going to hear from him so I always waited by the phone like Jas did, waiting for her mother to call.

 

Number the Stars

Reviewed by Leanna Cole – Lyman

 

I found this book by Lois Lowry to take a long time to get through. It was slow moving for me. The book has me caught in a mutual zone of optimism and pessimism. It makes me feel optimistic by that fact that people were able to find ways to get around the Holocaust and they will do so again if a situation arises. Another reason for my optimistic view is because what I know about the Holocaust and this book made sense together. People got in trouble for being a part of the Holocaust. How would a whole country make that mistake again?

My pessimistic views on the other hand tends to be more of my type of thinking. If we take things that are currently happening with our government and connected them to things that happened in this book, things aren’t much different. Could it be possible that we elected a president who could do this? In the book its says how the police go into homes and take the Jewish people away to concentration camps. Our homeland security officers are currently taking

away undocumented immigrants. History has a way of repeating itself. Is it human nature to think we can perform the same actions and get different outcomes? I think that our human nature makes us weak. We are puppets on a string to the next event that comes along. If we notice it before it starts we will we stop it.

This book has made me worried about our future as a country. Is it really possible that we are capable of doing this kind of damage? I think we are, but only if we let ourselves. This book has made me want to keep up on current events within my country. I will most definitely be watching for more of our president’s laws.


Welcome Annie Messinger!

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

Wayfinder Schools is pleased to welcome new Director of Philanthropy Annie Messinger. Annie comes to Wayfinder with many years of development experience, including ten years as Director of Development & Marketing for Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Maine. Annie grew up down the road from Wayfinder Schools in Gray, and graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a self-designed BA in graphic communication. Annie is an avid runner and snowboarder. She recently earned her motorcycle license and her next feat is the 40th Annual Chicago Marathon in October 2017. Annie is passionate about helping Maine teens graduate from high school and plan for their future. Annie joins Director of Grants and Communications Andrea Vassallo as part of the growing development team at Wayfinder. Head of Schools Paul Andrews says, “Wayfinder Schools is pleased to have a seasoned philanthropy professional like Annie join our team. Her expertise in fundraising and donor development complement our existing experienced development staff and programs. Annie’s work will help us continue our vital work with Maine students.”


Science Corner: Talking Science with Passages students Rochelle, Deidra and Nikiah

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Bug Science

by Rochelle Millay – Machiasport

I remember science class in my middle school at Fort O’Brien. In seventh grade we caught insects and put them into jars and then stuck them with a pin and put them on a piece of styrofoam. I remember my friend, Aleaha, caught some weird looking spiders.  One of them was about the size of a nickel, with a white abdomen. I HATE spiders! I think that they are the most repulsive things. I remember catching a grasshopper, a cricket, and a bee. After we were done collecting bugs, we labeled them with their scientific names, and then did a lot of research.

Blobs and Bubbles

by Deidra Pushard – Richmond

What you need:

A clean, 1-liter soda bottle

3/4 cup of water

Vegetable oil

Fizzing tablets (Alka-Seltzer)

Food coloring

 

Directions:

– Put water into soda bottle

– Fill the rest of the bottle with oil 
- Add about 10 drops food coloring of your choice

– Add half of an Alka-Seltzer tablet to start

 

Observations:

– The water and oil didn’t combine.  When I put food coloring in, it sat on the line between the water and oil.
- When I added 1/2 an Alka-Seltzer tablet, it started to bubble. The bubbles stayed green and the liquid turned light green.
- When I added more Alka-Seltzer,  it kept fizzing and the bubbles got bigger.
- When I added some blue food coloring, it started to fizz and bubble. It looked blue and green.
- After about ten minutes, there was a dark layer of food coloring at the bottom, and the oil was still bubbly. They were little bubbles and a light greenish color. Every once in awhile, a big bubble popped up to the top.
- After 3 or 4 days, I dumped out the bottle because oil started to come through the bottom like it was eating it.  Before I dumped it, there was a big blob of black color at the bottom.  It wasn’t a bubble—it was a big blob filling the bottom of the bottle.  The water and the oil was clear, and the oil was on top of the water.

 

What I expected to happen:

I thought that the bubbles would just float. I didn’t expect that they would sink to the bottom first.  This must be because a big bubble would float up to the top, after almost all of the littler ones had already done this and popped, I figured out that this must have happened because it had enough gas to get to the top. Also, I kind of thought that the oil and water would combine, because that does happen sometimes when you are cooking.

 

Conclusion:

We talked about how all things (matter) never really go away, but instead they can be part of a never ending cycle of change. We talked about the water cycle, and how water evaporates and goes up into the sky, and then it comes back down again as rain.  We also talked about density, which is how compact matter is. An example is a bubble and a pebble.  They could be the same size, but the pebble is denser and heavier, and will always sink in water, but bubbles will float up to the surface.  So in this experiment the oil floated above the water because it is less dense than the water.

 

Diaper Science

by Nikiah Berry – Belmont

 

As a science experiment, I tested different types of diapers to see which one is most absorbent. I tested these three brands: Huggies, Luvs, and Parent’s Choice.

 

Hypothesis:

I think that after testing these diapers, Huggies with be the most absorbent because they are advertised all over the TV. I think that Parent’s Choice will be the least absorbent.

 

Materials:

Diapers, water, and a bin

 

Procedure:

1 – Collect materials
2- Take diaper #1 and pick apart all the cotton.
Put all the cotton in a bin.

3- Shake about 4 times to get the powder away from the cotton. When done shaking then put all the cotton in trash. There should be only powder in the bin.

4- Pour one pitcher of water into the bin with the diaper powder.

5- Observe what happens.

Feel diaper power & water mixture with hands.

6-Record observations.

7-Repeat steps 2-6 for other two diaper brands.

 

Observations:

I noticed that the Luv diaper brand were the most absorbent.

The Huggies brand were pretty absorbent, but less absorbent the Luvs.

I noticed that Parent’s Choice brand were the least absorbent of the three.

 

Conclusion:

After doing all this test I came to conclusion that Luvs is the most absorbent diaper. I use Luvs already and will continue to using them.

 


Thinking about Government, by Passages student Amber Burns

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

statue     When I started learning about U.S. history and citizenship, I thought it was going to be really hard. Now I’m glad I know more about what the state spends and how all the money is used, and more about the history of civil and voting rights.

I didn’t realize that even after women got the right to vote in 1920, they still couldn’t do much else. I didn’t know women needed permission to have a bank account and they couldn’t have birth control without their husband’s permission. That explains why families used to be so much bigger.  My grandfather wouldn’t allow my grandmother to use birth control and she had seven kids. I kind of knew about how minorities didn’t have many legal rights until the 1950s and 60s, but I didn’t know that you could literally be killed for trying to vote, or for eating at a lunch counter, going to an all-white school, or basically just leaving your part of town. I didn’t know that it was significantly after everyone else, in 1948, that all Native Americans got the right to vote. I never really thought about this. I just thought everyone had the right to vote.

I didn’t know that President Trump would get to pick everybody in his cabinet and that his appointments need to get the approval of Congress.  I learned that it was set up this way in the Constitution so we wouldn’t end up with a dictatorship.

I learned that the Constitution contains all the rights and responsibilities for citizens and that it can protect us more than hurt us by giving people a fair trial, the right to free speech and assembly, which means protest, the right to vote, the right to own guns, and the right to choose your religion.  When the Constitution was written in 1787, it said that only white, Protestant, land-owning men could vote. This was less than 10% of the population.  Over time, amendments to the Constitution were voted in to make changes.

Another thing about the Constitution is that it outlines the three branches of government, the executive, judicial, and congressional branches, and what they can and cannot control.  It was designed this way so that no one branch can have all the power.

After 230 years of the Constitution, it’s still around and it works. I think it’s good because it guarantees fair trials, people aren’t allowed to be improperly treated by police officers, and I can, as a citizen use the amendments to my benefit. They allow me choice and protection. As a citizen, you really should vote if you can. One of my old teachers always said, “If you don’t vote, you don’t get to complain about what happens.”